To overcome hurdles in income-generation that lead to suicide by farmers, the state government has reiterated its commitment to expedite its new textile hub policy unveiled a couple of months back and expand it to nine districts of the cotton belt.
The state government’s decision to accord the textile industry the highest priority after agriculture springs from the massive unrest among farmers in drought-hit regions of Vidarbha, Marathwada and north Maharashtra.
Yavatmal, Buldhana, Amravati, Jalna, Parbhani, Nanded, Aurangabad, Beed and Jalgaon are the districts shortlisted for the textile hubs, which will take off with a textile park at Amravati on 100 acres.
The public-private partnership projects aim at creating textile townships that provide for multiple activities, from processing to marketing at each hub.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had instructed the Maharashtra State Textile Corporation and the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation to coordinate and expedite the projects. He has asked the authorities to look into aspects integral to textile hubs, including land, power supply and water, to facilitate the setting up of the hubs.
“For economic well being of farmers in the cotton belt, we have to promote industries. We have to link farm product with industrial activities to ensure a sustained market and generate new avenues of employment,” Fadnavis said.
“The agro-sector cannot sustain the livelihood of 60 per cent of the population specially in areas where cotton is grown. One crop failure can wreck lives of farmers who have no other means to generate money,” he added.
Fadnavis believes it needs proper planning. “The textile sector lacked proper planning. What is the use of allowing a spinning mill in western Maharashtra where cotton transport from Vidarbha would incur massive expenditure? Why not have spinning and processing units where cotton is grown? It would benefit farmers as well as industrial units,” he said.